ACE inhibitors

  1. Blood pressure meds cause crippling falls

    Common meds lead to falls

    Seniors are more likely to fall and more likely to suffer injury when they do -- including the devastating and crippling injuries that can lead to loss of independence and even an early death.

    But don't blame age alone for all those falls.

    No, the real reason for many of those tumbles is that most seniors are on enough drugs to knock over an elephant, and new research confirms that some of the most commonly used drugs, like blood pressure meds, can increase the risk of injury and death due to falls.

    And odds are, you know someone on these meds right now.

    You might even be taking them yourself, because these drugs are blood pressure meds such as ACE inhibitors, diuretics and beta-blockers.

    If you happen to be on them -- or have ever tried them -- then you probably know firsthand how they can make you feel weak, dizzy, unsteady and so off-kilter that sometimes it feels like the floor is sliding out from under you.

    That's exactly why taking them will make you up to 40 percent more likely to suffer a hip fracture or head injury due to a fall, according to the study of nearly 5,000 seniors.

    The great irony here is that injuries from falls are actually responsible for nearly as much death and disability as the heart attacks and strokes blood pressure meds are supposed to prevent.

    It's as if by taking these meds you're trading one bad risk for another -- but that's a trade you just don't have to make.

    In many cases, blood pressure can be controlled naturally with basic lifestyle changes such as weight loss and safe supplements such as hawthorn berry and gingko biloba as well as nutrients including calcium, potassium, magnesium and coenzyme Q10.

    And if you really want to make sure you remain rock-steady and unlikely to fall, there are two steps you need to take.

    First, add a vitamin D supplement to your regimen ASAP. Even mainstream health officials now admit that boosting D levels can lower the risk of fall and help prevent crippling breaks if you do take a spill.

    And second, get a little movement every day.

    One study I told you about recently found that a little strength and balance training can reduce the number of falls by nearly a third, and you can read more about it in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  2. Seaweed for heart health

    For most of us, seaweed is a nuisance: It can get in the way when you're trying to swim, and that's only if the smell of the stuff rotting on the beach doesn't chase you back home before you even dip a toe in the water.

    But in Asia, this nuisance is on the menu -- and with good reason, too: Seaweed is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and a new review of the research finds it can boost your heart health like nothing else.

    Researchers looked at about 100 studies on seaweed and found that it has a similar effect on blood pressure as ACE inhibitors -- but unlike prescription meds, seaweed comes with virtually no risks.

    But that's not all -- not even close.

    Researchers from the Teagasc Food Research Center in Dublin say the studies they reviewed show that seaweed and microalgae are as rich in bioactive peptides as dairy.

    They're also easy to cultivate, low in calories and rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium.

    And once you get over the fact that you're eating beach debris, it can taste pretty good too. The Japanese use seaweed in nearly everything, including a simple salad of fresh seaweed tossed with healthy sesame oil and seeds.

    I don't know if seaweed is the reason they live longer than nearly anyone on the planet -- all the fatty fish in the diet there probably have just as much, if not more, to do with it -- but it's an easy enough dish to replicate at home if you're willing to give it a shot.

    Along with keeping blood pressure in check, a regular side of seaweed might even help keep your weight under control by blocking the absorption of fat. One study found that rats given seaweed lost 10 percent of their body weight.

    Seaweed also contains anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant compounds. It can help beat pain, fight arthritis, lower your cancer risk, and keep cholesterol in check.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point: It almost doesn't matter what benefit you're looking for -- chances are, you'll find it in simple seaweed… if you can stand the smell, anyway.

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